Richard Moore is back, and he's brought…stuff! Macabre is a sexy ode to horror comics of days gone by. Vampires, werewolves, zombies–they all think you should buy Macabre…just don't tell your parents! Horror just got funny again.
We caught up with creator, Richard Moore to talk Macabre!
Horror News Network: What prompted you to do a horror anthology book?
Richard Moore: I'd been looking for a project that would let me keep my hand in comics while I'm doing other things, and a series of one-shots was the answer. Keep it short. And the anthology format allows for actual short stories. It's so nice to be able to introduce a title or character in eight pages or so, rather than having to devote an entire year to a single story in a miniseries. Making it horror was the obvious choice, since I had far more short horror stories to choose from than any other genre. Also, I hadn't done any horror for quite awhile, since Boneyard, so it was nice to get back to it.
Horror News Network: Can you talk a bit about the “host” of Macabre?
Richard Moore: Macabre is loosely modeled after old horror anthologies like Creepy and Eerie, and Tales from the Crypt. Each story is introduced by a host–in this case, a sexy, undead, female host named Charli. But there's no campiness; Charli does not continue the tradition of broad, over-the-top horror hosts who spout tongue-in-cheek, horror-themed jokes and puns. I don't know exactly how horror came to be associated with lame humor, but Charli doesn't go in for that crap. Not that anyone's likely to notice either way, since most readers will be distracted by her costume…what there is of it.
Horror News Network: What makes this different than the other anthologies on the market right now?
Richard Moore: I think the tone is unique. There's a blend of cheesecake-style sexiness and humor that's unlike anything else out there. Macabre is designed to be fun, which is something that's missing from a lot of comics today, especially horror comics.
There's a meanness throughout the horror field right now, a nihilistic mean-spirited-ness manifested in "torture porn" and the kinds of stories where you can assume everyone's going to die, not because it fits the story, but as almost a big middle finger to the characters' efforts and to the audience for caring about them. (Although I will admit, many films, comics and novels of this type are marketed to a disturbingly misanthropic audience that wants to see everyone die.) In Macabre, even the bawdier aspects, in both the stories and galleries, are playful, not sleazy.
No sexually-active teens being slaughtered for their sins by some masked slasherhere…unless it's being parodied, of course.
Horror News Network: Your art style has always been quite unique, can you talk a bit about drawing the monsters and other creepy creatures in this title?
Richard Moore: My comic art style is something I've struggled with. I come from more of a fine art background; I don't have any cartooning or comic training, and I haven't really studied comic art to any extent. I've always been leery of unconsciously incorporating elements of other artists' styles into my own.
That's probably what's led to the "unique" aspect of my style: just not knowing any better…which has actually worked against me. There are projects I haven't done because my drawing style isn't right for them. (In retrospect, I probably should have just said screw it, I'm gonna combine Richard Corben with Mike Mignola and Jason Pearson and call it "my style"! I'd probably be making a lot more…) But monsters, creepy creatures, they're always fun to draw. And the anthology format means I'm not limited to one werewolf design, one goblin, vampire, whatever. I get to reinterpret them with each new story.
Horror News Network: What can readers expect in terms of blood and guts?
Richard Moore: I'm not a big one for excess blood and guts. To me, gore should be treated like any other story element: use as much as necessary, no more, no less. Too much gore usually strikes me as a sign of laziness, a substitution for real creative effort. It can become a crutch. On the other hand, you can't shy away from showing what's necessary. It's a balance. When you see a lot of gore in my work, it's usually a good bet that I'm playing off the absurdity for a laugh.
Horror News Network: How often will this title be published?
Richard Moore: As much as my publisher would like it to be, Macabre won't be on any regular schedule. Issues are done as my other work allows, so it's hard to say, but I'd like to put out several issues a year. I'm also doing gray tones for atmosphere in this one, so it takes awhile.
Horror News Network: Where can our readers find out more about Macabre?
Richard Moore: Good question! They can check my Facebook page and my blog, richardmooreart.wordpress.com, for updates and sample art, or they can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions. And I swear I am actively trying to figure out how to use my blog, so there will be more frequent posts in the future.
Horror News Network: In closing, what would you like to say about Macabre?
Richard Moore: Just that it's an action-packed thrill-ride, and is sure to be the feel-good hit of the year. No less than James Cameron and Joss Whedon have been on the TV in the background while I worked on this issue of Macabre, and you just don't come by endorsements like that every day.
Horror News Network: Thanks for your time, Richard. Best of luck on this book!